Prague Airport, CzechTourism, and Prague City Tourism to join forces on reinventing the sector

When international travel restarts, key local players plan to work together to rebuild and improve inbound travel.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 03.05.2021 13:12 (updated on 03.05.2021)

Key players in promoting tourism to the Czech Republic will be working together to restart the sector. The goal isn’t just to reopen the country to inbound visitors, but also to attract people who are more interested in culture than in cheap alcohol and to encourage them to look beyond Prague’s city center.

Representatives of Prague City Hall, Prague Airport, CzechTourism, and Prague City Tourism have signed a memorandum for a long-term joint approach toward resuming and expanding inbound tourism to Prague and the rest of the Czech Republic.

The memorandum states the renewal of tourism is essential for economic recovery and growth after the Covid-19 pandemic. There should be some change to tourism as well. The representatives want to develop and support of sustainable tourism that can positively contribute to Prague and other Czech regions without negatively impacting on everyday life in heavily visited places, such as Prague’s city center.

The memorandum was signed by Prague City Councilor Hana Třeštíková, responsible for culture and tourism; Václav Řehoř, chairman of the Prague Airport board of directors; Jan Herget, director of the state agency CzechTourism; and František Cipro, chairman of the Prague City Tourism board of directors. The start of joint activities to promote tourism depends on improvement in the epidemiological situation and a gradual return to normal social life.

“Tourism and related industries are by far the most affected by the long-lasting Covid-19 crisis. I believe that, thanks to the cooperation with CzechTourism and Prague Airport, we will be able to reverse this unfavorable trend once the situation allows,” Třeštíková said.

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“We want to revive tourism as quickly as possible and attract a cultured and more solvent clientele to Prague and other cities in the Czech Republic to ensure the resumed tourism is sustainable,” Třeštíková added.

Prague Airport’s Řehoř said the resumption and development of air connections with Prague depend primarily on inbound tourism, which accounts for approximately 70 percent of Prague Airport's operations. Prague Airport (Letiště Praha) is the state-owned company that operates Václav Havel Airport Prague.

“It is, therefore, important for us to support, among other things, the demand for trips to Prague, which is the biggest attraction for foreign tourists. Only on the basis of strong demand, airlines will launch new flights, from which the Czechs will benefit, too. In this perspective, the cooperation with CzechTourism, Prague City Tourism, and the capital city of Prague is immensely important for us,” Řehoř said.

Prague Airport’s Václav Řehoř signs the memorandum for restarting tourism. (Photo: Prague Airport)
Prague Airport’s Václav Řehoř signs the memorandum for restarting tourism. (Photo: Prague Airport)

Prague Airport has a long-term goal of developing new long-haul routes in the coming years.

“These routes are then to generate sustainable inbound tourism, characterized by true interest in the Czech Republic, local cultural and social life, longer stays, and generous visitor budgets, for example, to seek quality services,” Řehoř said.

CzechTourism’s Herget said tourism accounts for almost 3 percent of the Czech GDP. “In 2019, tourism generated CZK 355 billion and provided jobs to almost a quarter of a million people in the Czech Republic. After the pandemic subsides, the key to tourism recovery is, alongside the setting of uniform travel rules, for example in the form of Covid passes, the resumption of air connections, predominantly direct routes from lucrative markets,” Herget said.

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“For this reason, our foreign representations maintain a good starting position via their B2B and B2C activities to get a head start on the undoubtedly tough competition expected as the pandemic subsides,” Herget said.

“Once it becomes possible, they are ready to help negotiate direct flights and immediately address tourists from the respective markets, offering them the best travel experience in the Czech Republic,” Herget added.

Prague City Tourism’s Cipro sees the signing of the memorandum as a step toward meeting Prague’s new inbound tourism strategy. “Thanks to the cooperation to which we commit ourselves in the memorandum, we will attract a cultured clientele to Prague, i.e. travelers with goals other than to get drunk cheaply in the capital,” Cipro said.

“Moreover, we do not want future tourism to be concentrated only in the historical city center. Therefore, we are already creating attractive tourist routes outside the historical heart of Prague,” Cipro added.

The cooperation will take the form of support for marketing of both Prague and the Czech Republic in selected foreign source markets. Among other activities, there is the planned support for air carriers with direct connections to Prague from selected markets, alongside joint participation in professional conferences and trade fairs, which contribute to the development of tourism.

The memorandum covers the next three years and is a follow-up to a 2018 memorandum that expired at the end of 2020.